PM Narendra Modi’s Jammu & Kashmir Visit Is Strictly Business

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making a short one-day visit today to Jammu and the Kashmir Valley with stops in Jammu, Katra, Srinagar and Uri. Officials have called the visit ‘œstrictly business.’


After visiting Sriharikota in Odisha for the launch of ISRO’s PSLV C-23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen the valley of Jammu and Kashmir for his visit.

He is making a short one-day visit today to Jammu and the Kashmir Valley with stops in Jammu, Katra, Srinagar and Uri. PM Modi will chair a high-level security review meeting at the Badami Bagh headquarters of the army’s 15th corps in Srinagar.

He is also to inaugurate a 240 MW hydro-power in the border town of Uri in Baramulla district which is expected to provide power to the rest of the country. He will earlier fly to Jammu to open a 25-km rail link between Katra and Udhampur, providing a direct link to the Mata Vaishno Devi temple with the rest of the country.


However, there will be no political activity as he will not visit the chief minister of the state or any of the Omar Abdullah government minister. Officials have called the visit “strictly business.”

He will visit Valley today amid a shutdown called by separatists.


The Hindu reported that “the Hurriyat (M), along with the Hurriyat (G) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatist leaders, have issued a call for a bandh on Friday when PM Modi arrives in Jammu and Kashmir for his first visit. Following the bandh call, Hurriyat leaders are likely to be placed under house arrest and Srinagar will see a heavy police presence, although much lower security than in the past.”

The report says that according to Hurriyat (M) leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq the bandh was not aimed at PM Modi or the BJP. The report quoted him saying: “Prime Minister Modi must pick up the threads of former PM (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s peace process where he spoke of insaniyat… This bandh is a message to the people in New Delhi that it’s time they looked at Kashmir from a political basis. Right now everyone talks about normalcy, tourism and trade, but there is still a lot of pressure on the common Kashmiri. There are still black laws, there are still detentions and house arrests of leaders of the Hurriyat.”

Since the visit is going to be ‘strictly business’, there is least expectation of mention of Article 370, or rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits – two issues which are very sensitive to the Valley. It should be noted that Hurriyat has objected to the rumoured proposal to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits in segregated colonies, which they referred to as “divisive.”

There have also been warnings by Muslim groups not to create a separate enclave for Kashmiri Pandits. Majlis Itihad-e-Milat, a group of religious organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday cautioned the Centre against any move to create separate settlements for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.

The Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, who is also the MIM president, threatened: “Kashmiri Pandits are an important part of our society. They are welcome to return to the Valley and settle at their ancestral places or any other place alongside their Muslim brothers. But the move to create separate settlements for them in the Valley would have serious consequences.”

The statement received severe criticism from the people of the Valley and the sympathizers of Kashmiri Pandits. Political columnist Tavleen Singh tweeted:


Interestingly, the Nehru-Gandhi parivaar is descendent of Kashmiri Pandits. They also have land in Kashmir owing to their origin. Wonder why they never speak on the issue?

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